Functional constipation in children: the pediatric surgeon's perspective.

Research paper by Tomas T Wester

Indexed on: 06 Aug '13Published on: 06 Aug '13Published in: Pediatric Surgery International


The prevalence of functional constipation in children is almost 10%. The etiology is multifactorial and not fully understood. In the majority of cases, there is no organic explanation for the symptoms. However, it is very important to exclude organic causes, particularly in neonates and infants. There are warning symptoms, such as delayed passage of meconium, bilious vomiting and abdominal distention that should prompt further investigations. Fecal incontinence is a very common symptom secondary to fecal impaction. The first-line treatment for both disimpaction and maintenance is use of laxatives. Parental education is extremely important. There are very limited data on surgical approaches for functional constipation.